Elmira College field hockey defensive stalwarts Liz Shephard of Cazenovia, N.Y., (2021) and Tina O’Donnell of Kutztown (2020) received year-end accolades from the Empire 8 Conference on November 12, as Shephard was named an E8 All-Conference Honorable Mention and O’Donnell was chosen to the Sportswoman of the Year Team.
A third-year goalie from Kutztown, Pa., O’Donnell was honored as Elmira’s representative on the Empire 8 Sportswoman of the Year Team. The E8 emphasizes that “Competing with Honor and Integrity” is an essential component of a student-athlete’s experience in conjunction with an institution’s educational mission, and one student-athlete from each institution is recognized annually for consistently exhibit the critical traits of outstanding sportsmanship.
O’Donnell finished her junior season as one of just five goalies in Division III to amass over 200 saves, as she led the Empire 8 with 220 saves and 12.94 saves per game. Her save total ranks third all-time in program history, and the six victories she recorded are tied for fourth-most in a single season. O’Donnell made double-digit saves on 11 occasions, including a pair of matches with a season-high 23 stops. She also earned the first shutout of her collegiate career in a 6-0 victory over Wells on September 25.
In her second season as a starting defender for the Purple and Gold, Shephard earned the first All-Conference award of her career. The Cazenovia native started all 17 contests as a sophomore and accumulated 1,200 minutes of playing time. Playing as a kicking back in EC’s second game of the year against Wooster, Shephard logged her second defensive save as a Soaring Eagle, and she earned her first point with an assist against Utica Oct. 20.
Shephard, perhaps best known for her superior block tackling ability, doubles as Elmira’s lead injector on penalty corners. Generating offense on penalty corners proved to be key for the Soaring Eagles in wins over King’s (Pa.), Sage, Brockport, Morrisville State and Keuka.